Formation and Reactivity of a Unique M···C-H Bond Interaction Stabilized by Carborane Cages.

Broadening carborane applications has consistently been the goal of chemists in this field. Herein, compared to alkyl or aryl groups, a carborane cage demonstrates an advantage in stabilizing a unique bonding interaction: M C-H interaction. Experimental results and theoretical calculations have revealed the characteristic of this two-center, two-electron bonding interaction, in which the carbon atom in the arene ring provides two electrons to the metal center. The reduced aromaticity of the benzene moiety, long distance between the metal and carbon atom in arene, and the upfield sift of the signal of M C-H in the nuclear magnetic resonance spectrum distinguished this interaction from metal C π interaction and metal-C(H) σ bond. Control experiments demonstrate the unique electronic effects of carborane in stabilizing the M C-H bonding interaction in organometallic chemistry. Furthermore, the M C-H interaction can convert into C-H bond metallization under acidic conditions or via treatment with t-butyl isocyanide. These findings deepen our understanding regarding the interactions between metal centers and carbon atoms and provide new opportunities for the use of carboranes ​
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